Mon
Oct 1 2012 10:00am

Steampunk Week 2012 on Tor.com

Steampunk Week 2012 on Tor.com

One of the first major blogging events we’ve done on Tor.com was for steampunk, and every autumn with the turning of the leaves, the H.M.S. Stubbington gets its engines stoked for another bout of gears, cogs, and 19th-century know-how. Now, Year Four into this brass madness, the question comes to mind: “Why does steampunk still matter?”

James Schafer, the co-owner of the Steampunk on Facebook page, sent that missive to me and several other steampunk tinkerers, academics, costumers, and event planners several months back, and its been on my mind ever since. Has our love for dirigibles gotten our heads too far into the clouds? Are we wandering, directionless, befuddled about what had brought us here? Are steampunks only good for quirky cameo appearances on reality TV or at the beginning of sitcoms about financially-challenged young women?

Everyone had their own answers to Schafer’s question, and here’s the best one I’ve come up with:

“Steampunk matters because it’s a verb now (or, always has been).”

More than just an aesthetic or a subgenre, it is a movement, with the emphasis on “move.” People do steampunk: whether writing it, drawing it, performing it, building it, or dreaming it.

So for Steampunk Week, we’re looking at what steampunk does that makes it relevant to the science fiction/fantasy community – and the greater world outside it. You’ll get bits of politics, art, literature, music, history, culture, and everything in between.*  

*And if this week isn’t enough, know that we run steampunk things all year round, and browse through the archives for our steampunk blogging events from 2009, 2010, and 2011.

***

This year, you can expect excerpts, articles, art, and fan-squee from myself and fellow contributors Kevin J. Anderson, Yomi Ayeni, Julie Brannon, Professor Calamity, Professor Elemental, Faith Erin Hicks, Lisa Hager, Margaret “Magpie” Killjoy, Arthur Morgan, Tee Morris, Balogun Ojetade, Cat Rambo, Paul Shapera, Ann Vandermeer, and Diana Vick.

Sweepstakes for the hottest steampunk books, posters, and more from some of our contributors as well as Katy Cross, Jillian Lerner, Luis Ortiz, Rocklove Jewelry, James Ng, Lev AC Rosen, Mark Siegel, and Unhallowed Metropolis.

Be sure to also bookmark our Steampunk Week 2012 index to keep track of all the goodies!


Ay-leen the Peacemaker is the editor of Beyond Victoriana, the oldest-running blog on multicultural steampunk (which is also turning 4 this year!) She is an academic scholar on steampunk (among other things). You can also follow her on Twitter.

This article is part of Steampunk Week 2012: index | next ›
6 comments
Mfenger
1. Mfenger
Awesome, Steampunk Week is one of my favourite Internet events. I look forward to it every year, and I hope that one year I may actually be a participant.

To that end I've been hard at work on my Steampunk serial, Orphans of the Celestial Sea, a free, bi-weekly story chronicling the adventures of Tom Cain and his misfit crew as they try to unravel the mysteries surrounding their airship Hecate and the plague of psychosis-inducing Mist which is slowly destroying human civilization. Hopefully it will be big enough to make the cut one of these years.

Until then, Happy Steampunk Week, and see you 'round the aethersphere.
Rob Hansen
2. RobHansen
I'd like to see a examination of Michael Moorcock's early 1970s proto-steampunk Oswald Bastable trilogy, myself.
Ay-leen the Peacemaker
3. Ay-leen_the_Peacemaker
@Mfenger: I'm glad that you've enjoyed our Steampunk blogging events here at Tor, and hope this Week lives up to your expectations.

@RobHansen: We don't have anyone covering Moorcock this year, but Mike Perschon (who reviews steampunk books and others for us) did a great write-up of Warlord of the Air over on his blog The Steampunk Scholar some years back.
Lee VanDyke
4. Cloric
Aaaannnddd... it's the week that I try to avoid Tor.com as much as possible. I understand why people like steampunk, but I find the obsession to adapt everything possible to the style to be extremely annoying. Steampunk doesn't not make something automatically better, but that seems to be the opinion i see most adherents express.

Just wanted to express a dissenting opinion. Enjoy your week of industrial frivolity!
Mfenger
5. mbmoe
And this year, steampunk week serendipitousy leads up to OctopodiCon, the Oklahoma City steampunk convention being held October 5-7, at which Ay-leen the Peacemaker will be a guest. Check it out at HTTP://octopodicon.org. We'd love to see y'all there.
Balogun Ojetade
6. Balogun
I am loving Steampunk Week 2012!
I am learning a lot.
Thanks to Tor and Ay-Leen The Peacemaker for this amazing event!

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